Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review in a nutshell: on-ear headphones for hybrid working with active noise cancellation, personalised sound, and a highly portable, folding design. They are comfortable to wear for hours, thanks to the Jabra Air Comfort technology. I wish they felt a bit more sturdy than this, though, although I had no problems with the Evolve3 65 Flex bending the working way during testing.
Jabra is one of my favourite headphones brands. It started as a hearing aid company, later transitioning into designing and manufacturing headphones. You can see telltale signs of the past by looking at the ergonomic shape of the Jabra Elite 7 Active buds – they sit in your ears perfectly no matter how hard you shake your noggin.
That said, the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex headphones serve a different purpose than the Elite 7 Active. They are designed for an office environment and reminded me of the Jabra 45h cans I had the pleasure to try last year. They sport an on-ear, folding design with a retractable mic and Active Noise Cancelling. Are they worth your hard-earned cash, and should they be added to our best noise-cancelling headphones roundup? Let's find out.
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: price and availbility
The Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex is available to buy now directly from Jabra UK, Jabra US and Jabra AU for a recommended retail price of £318 (approx. $399/AU$594). At the time of writing, both the US and Australian sites say the headphones are out of stock. There are a bunch of different office-first Jabra headphones, from a slimmer Evolve2 30 (RRP £104.40) and the somewhat clunky Evolve2 55 (RRP £226.80) all the way to the robust, over-ear Evolve2 85, costing nearly twice as much as the Evolve2 65 Flex (RRP £539). For the best Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex prices, check the price widgets at the top and bottom of this review.
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: specs
- Type: on-ear
- Weight: 136g/4.8oz
- Driver size: 28 mm
- Frequency range: 20Hz - 20000Hz
- Microphone type: 2 Analog MEMS / 4 Digital MEMS (Stereo)
- Mic sensitivity: -38 dBv/Pa (analogue microphone)/-26 dBFS/Pa (digital microphone)
- Battery life: Music – Up to 32 hours (with ANC off) / up to 21 hours (with ANC on), Talk – Up to 20 hours (with ANC/busy light off)/Up to 15 hours (with ANC on/busy light on)
- Charge time from 0-100%: 2 hours
- Quick charge: yes (up to 45% in 30 mins)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
- Bluetooth connection to up to 8 devices
- 2 simultaneous Bluetooth connections
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: design and build quality
The Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex are folding on-ear headphones weighing only 136g/4.8oz. The cans feature the Jabra Air Comfort technology, a combination of layers of 'ultra-soft' perforated foam inside the cushioned headband and flexible, rotating ergonomic earcups to relieve pressure on your head by providing a gentle cushioning effect.
I found the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex comfortable to wear around my desk, and despite my initial fear that the cans would fall off as soon as I turned my head, I was pleasantly surprised they stayed on without an issue. I felt no pressure at the top of my head and only a slight pressure behind my ears, although the latter is due to the oversized nature of the glasses I wear for computer work.
There are two buttons on the left and four on the right earcup. The ones on the left turn the headset on/off and toggle ANC/HearThrough, while the buttons on the other side control the volume, activate voice control and stop/start music playback. The Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex also has a proximity sensor, which automatically turns off music playback when the earcups aren't on your ears.
I have comparatively large hands and found the buttons to be a little on the small side. They are raised only slightly, making it harder to locate them without 'stroking' the edge of the earcups first. This is especially true for the volume control buttons; I often activated the voice control instead of raining the volume.
The folding mechanism works fine. Like the Jabra 45h, the plastic body of the Evolve2 65 Flex doesn't fill me with confidence when it comes to longevity, but the headphones didn't creak or bend incorrectly during testing. In fact, I enjoyed the gentle clicking sensation when the Evolve2 65 Flex folded up completely. I wonder what would happen if you accidentally sat on the cans, though, given the all-plastic construction.
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: sound performance
I like how Jabra headphones sound, and thankfully, the Evolve2 65 Flex offers many ways to personalise the sound to your liking via the Jabra Sound+ app. I'd recommend completing the MySound hearing test first, which checks the frequencies you can hear and adjusts the speaker output automatically.
You can also customise the level of Active Noise Cancelling using the slider in the app. I often go with the strongest ANC setting, especially while I'm in the office, as there are some people there who talk all day, and since I spend most of my day trying to write, it can be distracting. You can turn it down, though, if you wish.
If you like to eavesdrop on a conversation in the office, you'll be delighted to hear the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex also has a HearThrough mode that feeds sounds back to you using external mics. God forbid I ever use this feature, as I'd like to distance myself from others as much as possible, but it's available.
Finally, you can customise the sound with the music presets. There are six presets in the app, and you can also create customised ones. I usually go with the Smooth options, as that lifts deep tones just the way I like it without killing all the treble. However, you can adjust it however you like in the app.
The Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex has a built-in microphone you can tuck away in the right earcup when not in use. It is similar to gaming headsets and allows you to mute yourself by simply folding the mic, and you can just as quickly unmute yourself by unfolding the microphone.
The mic's sound quality is good for video calls, although I found it too sensitive in outside environments. I appreciate the Evolve2 65 Flex wasn't designed for calls in bustling outdoor settings, but I would've appreciated a bit better performance here; after all, hybrid working involves people performing tasks on the go.
Anyhow, you can certainly improve the sound quality of your virtual meeting with the Evolve2 65 Flex, not least because the microphone is right next to your mouth, unlike when you use your laptop's built-in microphone.
Overall, the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex's speakers and microphone work well enough in their intended environment. The speakers' sound is better than your average on-ear headphones; plus, thanks to the sound customisation options, music and speech coming from the speaker feel clear and audible.
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: verdict
I was slightly concerned initially that over-ear headphones won't provide enough noise cancellation and would become uncomfortably warm to wear after short use, but the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex proved me wrong. This hybrid working headset offers excellent sound quality, comfort, active noise cancelling, and more for a reasonable amount of money.
I imagine these corporate-first headphones won't be the number one choice for non-office workers, and for them, I'd probably recommend the Jabra 45h instead because of the lower price point. However, the Evolve2 65 Flex folds down to a more compact size than the Jabra 45h and also has a better microphone, so if portability and call quality are high on your priority list, choose the former.
Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex review: also consider
The Bose QuietComfort 45 are excellent noise-cancelling folding headphones with fewer extra features than the Evolve2 65 Flex can offer, but Bose' crowd-pleasing sound is hard not to recommend, even though the cans cost more or less the same as the Jabra. Read Yasmine's full Bose QuietComfort 45 review.
Alternatively, have a read through our best headphones guide, or if you're looking for something sportier, the best running headphones round up, featuring the aforementioned Jabra Elite 7 Active at the top.